Winter is full of fruits and veggies that are loaded with vitamin C to ward off colds and the flu. Fill up on your vegetables for meals and have oranges, mandarins, clementines and grapefruit for dessert.
As the holidays get closer, the temptation to indulge in unhealthy seasonal treats in creases. Here’s why you shouldn’t forget your veggies this winter…
Even though my 60th birthday is a little over 6 months away, I am planning now for better health, mental acuity, energy, and sense of well-being! My goal is to improve all of the test results that I have previously had at Forum Health Knoxville. You may remember that I did a Telomere test several months ago – a fascinating test revealing how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Those results showed that I was above average for my age range; however, there was definitely room for improvement!
For my birthday countdown, I have chosen to begin with a detailed cardiac evaluation measuring specific markers in my blood. My total cholesterol has always been slightly elevated; however, over 50 percent of patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarctions had normal lipid levels as defined by the traditional blood tests. Functional medicine has identified over 400 risk factors, but they are all exacerbated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction (chronic infections).
Cholesterol is not the villain portrayed in the statin commercials! It is a biological necessity for creating vitamin D, our steroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as other tasks. High levels are not a sure sign of cardiac disease, nor are low levels a promise of heart health. Our bodies manufacture most of our cholesterol with a smaller amount coming from the food we eat.
Since cholesterol has to travel through the blood which is watery, the body packages it in various “containers” called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins vary according to the amount of protein, fat, and cholesterol they contain. Those with more protein and less fat/cholesterol are called high density lipoproteins or HDL. Those with less protein and more fat/cholesterol are called low density lipoproteins or LDL. A third type carries even more cholesterol and fat with less protein and it is called very low density lipoprotein or VLDL.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” said Benjamin Franklin. This statement holds true in many areas of life, including meal planning. Here are some great online resources for planning meals in advance.
July is National Grilling Month which means we need to get outside and start grilling! The health benefits of grilling not only come from the food itself, but also from being outside in the sunshine. An adequate amount of sun exposure is required to maintain a healthy vitamin D level.
Sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes are common complaints during allergy season. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you are willing to try most anything to get some relief. There are many natural remedies that help relieve symptoms including foods to eat or to avoid. When considering foods to include in your diet, remember any food that boosts the immune system will also help your body to combat the inflammation response when experiencing allergies.
A heart healthy eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy oils is important to our body’s function and health. As with all heart healthy diets, fruits, vegetables and grains are key. With the Mediterranean diet, more emphasis is placed on whole grains rather than refined as well as fresh fruits and vegetables rather than juice or fruit drinks. Extra virgin olive oil is the principle source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, being used for cooking, baking and for salad dressings and drizzling on vegetables. Nuts, legumes and fish are encouraged to provide the main source of protein.
Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month make February a month to celebrate sweethearts. What a perfect time to show your loved one how much you care by preparing a meal with heart-healthy superfoods such as omega-3 fatty acids and fresh vegetables. Adding superfoods to your daily diet has the ability to decrease the risk of cancer, improve heart function, and fight infection. Make heart healthy dishes for you and your sweetheart and you will be doing your part for a healthier heart!